Blue River Fly Classic

Blue River Fly Classic
A One Pattern Fly Event

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Carp Crusades - Three In A Row

Yesterday it didn't look like I'd get to crusade for any carp today because of a prior obligation but when that event was cancelled early this morning I knew I'd be headed for the creek.

Leaving work about an hour after noon I learned through a co-worker that Charlie was on the creek fly-fishing so I ran home and tied up a quick pattern and headed out to find Charlie.

When I found Charlie it looked like he was through for the day because he was getting in his car but then he asked if I had time to fish and he'd show me the honey hole he found. Naturally I said, "You betcha!

I'd been wanting to fish with Charlie ever since we started the crusades and I also wanted some pics of him in the water.

At Charlie's spot we were right on top of some huge carp but for the first hour we couldn't even get them to look at our offerings. The carp I was fishing stayed spooked the entire time and again I say when you are fishing in a clear running creek the slightest movement in the water sends the carp cruising. It can be something as simple as shuffling a foot or mumbling to yourself as I found out today.

Charlie worked upstream from me fishing a couple of deeper pools on both sides. I watched him as he worked both sides and he changed flies several times.

The wind was stronger today and the riffles made sight casting even more difficult but Charlie kept scouting as he slowly moved along. There came a point he would come downstream and I would try the spots he was fishing but again we didn't even get a look.

Upstream there was a huge splash and Charlie and I kinda looked at each other and agreed that it was exciting. In talking, Charlie and I realized how lucky we are to have such a wonderful fishery right at our back doors and that we couldn't ask for much better.

I decided to go upstream and on the south side was an island that was absolutely perfect for sight fishing. My gosh, the carp were staged... near side, middle, and far side. I had a weighted crawdad pattern on and as I put the fly in front of the carp I noticed I was getting looks and even had a hook-up that didn't last long.

And then... came this one. It was a lot of fun. Charlie... thank you so much for sharing this wonderful spot and thanks for the wonderful pictures... they are treasure.

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Carp Crusades - "Another One Bites The..., not dust but black Backstabber.

I went to the same place at the same time and fished the same fly as yesterday. The only thing different about today is that I planted the fly directly in front of a duo of carp and both took notice. Yesterday, I had to plant the fly several feet upstream and let it bounce down.

I still don't know what triggers a take. There are so many refusals and then all of a sudden one carp decides he's hungry and sucks the fly in. Interesting.

Both days I started fishing at 3 o'clock and the sun is behind me at this time which causes me to cast a shadow and that's not helping. Also, at this time of day the glare on the water is a lot to deal with even with polarized glasses. Think I'll try a mid-morning adventure and see what happens.

The smaller fish wanted to play also and this cause some competition for the fly. I could see bass swimming here and there and a good number of panfish also.

I ended up loosing the black Backstabber to a rock so I better get on the vice tonight. There was another fly I had picked to try today but guess it fell off my dry patch. I'm pretty sure Chris Adams tied this fly and it had a tail of super hair or something, body was flash-a-bou, and it had beadchain eyes painted green. Don't know the name of it but it reminds me of an olive damsel imitation. Think that fly would've worked today if I hadn't lost it.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Carp Crusades - Numbero Uno

For the last three warm water seasons I've caught one carp per year on my fly rod but this year with sparked enthuiasm and inspiration from Charlie Wright, I decided to get serious about carp on the fly.

Now... I can't scream to the world that I'm a fly-fisher for carp with this prize today, but I am on the way I feel to a fun-packed spring and summer.

Not all fishermen are liars and I'll tell you straight up I must have made fifty casts before getting a hook-set with this carp today. As a matter of fact I was quite frustrated at the point when this rodeo begin. The sun kept ducking behind the clouds which made it extremely difficult to see and the wind was riffling the water once again which added to my problem in trying to sight fish.

I have to say Charlie is spot on with his observation that these creatures are extremely sensitive to sound in the water. When the black Backstabber pattern I tied last night would hit the water the carp would spook. I kept trying to cast directly to the carp and getting the fly down in the column quickly but it wasn't working so I put my casts about six or eight feet upstream and let it bounce along the bottom.

I was fishing a trio of carp with the largest one being in the lead and he was the one I was trying for. However, this fellow decided he liked the fly better and before I realized it he had sucked the fly up. I never saw the actual take but did see my leader jolt and that's when I set the hook.

It was at least a good ten minute fight and each time I would try to beach the creature he would sense the shallow water and launch to the deeper water... again and again.

Think I'll tie up some more of those Backstabbers or at least my version. I'm nowhere as good as Zimmerman is with his Backstabbers but at least now I know mine will suffice in attracting carp.

The Carp Crusades - Charlie's Observations

In the pursuit of carp and other so called rough fish on the fly, Charles Wright of Sulphur Springs Inn has started making notes and observations regarding the habits of these creatures. In a beautifully simplistic fashion that lends itself to pieces by Alfred W. Miller aka Sparse Grey Hackle, Charlie offers this easy-to-read and perfect sense paper.

Hope you enjoy.

The Carpalo Of Rock Creek

1. They locate in a stretch of stream that provides them with good pasture. Sandy/small gravel bottom fine enough to suck up, filter out food and expel sand through gills. Little current so they don't have to work to hard for their food.

2. They hold up in a protected slough off this pasture to rest and for protection

3. They are herders and travel as a herd to feed. They go out to feed and return to rest and leave to feed again. How often I don't know but probably like most animals morning and evening with midday rest. Of course there are the lone wolfs that venture out; the ones I've seen kinda wait on the side and move out to midstream for something in the current I guess, and then move back to the side. Interesting.

4. I don't think they have good eyesight. I was walking up stream on the shore right at water's edge and a pod of about twenty can meandering downstream, headed home... just three feet from me and they were unaware of my presence. In another spot I stood right over their home (slough), moved around, and they did not respond. So you can get real close, but out of water, as I think they are super sensitive to water noise.

5. They seem to be alert, keen to the movement of turtles - kinda like a beacon that something is coming

6. I dropped individual corn kernels to see how they responded. It was kinda like they took note, but didn't respond unless it was right in front, just inches away. In that case they would take it, the others they ignored. However, a short time later some would start eating the corn on the bottom. An interesting note - when they went to the bottom it would cloud the water a little (water about three feet deep). So the subtle cloudiness could be used as an indicator that they are bottom feeding as opposed to taking suspended food.

Charles Wright

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Crusade Begins

I think Charlie and I both are quite earnest about improving our abilities to battle and capture carp on Rock Creek with fur and feather.

In the last ten days... two weeks or so, Charlie has been on several scouting expeditions and I've been on several myself. This morning, carp dominated the conversation Charlie and I had and as we talked I could sense the excitement in Charlies voice and see wonderment in his eyes. I share the same expectations.

After work today I could feel the nap fairy tugging at me which has become a daily routine for me. But today I wanted to resist the afternoon sandman so I asked Miss Carol to scout for some carp with me.

At Rock Creek, we were met with a clear creek but the strong winds had a solid riffle on the surface which made scouting difficult. Miss Carol has good eyesight but also brought a pair of binoculars and as she purveyed the water I heard her say, "There's a flash". Sure enough, the carp are still there in the same spot I scouted last week. I brought my fly-rod but with the water being so riffled I knew I would simply be blind casting and from what I've read that's not the way to capture carp.

The crusade will continue and Sunday I hope to go upstream and see what communities exist there.

Photo by Sonya

A Dog Named Boy

It was late May with only a couple of weeks of school being left. Back then, school didn't let out until the first week of June so if my memory serves me well this would've been the last week or so of May.

Spring had seemed to come rather early this particular year with the red buds and dogwoods blooming in late March. The early spring brought a heightened sense of excitement for me primarly owing to hearing my grandfather predict it was going to be a great fishing spring and summer.

It was near the noon hour, and with school being so close to being done I could've cared less about the next class. Besides, I had a surplus of credits so I decided to ditch the rest of the school day and have fun on Rock Creek.

On my way to the creek I met a perfect stranger in the shape and fashion of one cagey canine. With first glance I could tell that this mongrel was a king of the road type of dog with his be-shoveled and scroungy look. He seemed quite the friendly chap and as I spoke to him he revealed a peculiar trait. Upon saying hello to this dog he curled his top lip showing a toothy grin. In other words... this dog smiled upon being addressed or recognized. I've only seen a couple of dogs do that in my life and I believe this chap was the first.

Since I didn't know his name, or did he know mine, I decided to simply call him "Boy" because it was rather easy to see that he possessed the requirements of being male. He seemed to like the name Boy, giving another toothy grin, and as I started for the creek he was shadowing my every step.

At the creek there was a sandbar that I favored and this was my intended target. The near side of the sandbar was quite grown up with tall weeds and thickets and with the early spring the grasses and such had already greened. In a hurry I thrashed my way through this thicket to get to the clearing on the other side of the sandbar. However, once I reached the clear side I realized my hurried rush had brought trouble.

Suddenly feeling naked to the world; faint in the moment; I realized on this side of the sandbar I'd crossed a trio of snakes that were quite unhappy at my arrival. Now... I won't say they were water moccasins but I do believe they were from what my grandfather had taught me. They were thick, short-bodied snakes and quite agitated. I guess I interrupted a mating ritual or something... I don't know. What I do know is if they weren't water moccasins they were still some pretty darn pissed-off snakes.

One snake seemed more pissed-off than the other two and in a coiled and striking stance he started toward me and that's when Boy intervened. The dog's hair was as bristled and stiff as a porcupine's quill; his voice loud and panicked; teeth were gnashing as the saliva flew. Boy was quick too, suddenly lunging forward with the snake striking, then darting out as suddenly as he came forward. As Boy was battling the main snake I started chunking rocks, limbs, throwing sand, anything I could get my hands on at the other two. The battle seemed to rage a good five minutes but in all actuality... it probably lasted less than a minute. The snakes relinquished the sandbar where Boy and I stood victorious. My heart was in the throat beating like a warpath drum.

After this fray I didn't feel much like exploring the creek anymore. As far as I knew those snakes could've simply went in retreat planning their next assualt. Just upstream was a small falls and one side was completely dry. I patted Boy on the back to get him to settle down and follow me to the falls. At the falls I opened the lunch bag and took out that day's bologna, cheese, and mayo sandwich. I still remember how much Boy enjoyed his half of that sandwich and that was the least I could do for a fellow that'd just took up a fight for me.

Although I'd planned to ditch the rest of the school day I knew if I went home... Boy would follow, and there both of us would be standing in my grandfather's presence. I also knew grandfather's first question would be why I was home so early and secondly what was I doing with another stray dog. So, I decided to simply go back to school.

As I slowly walked back to the north side hallway of school, Boy followed my every step. I didn't have the heart to shew him away and figured once I disappeared he would once again take up his hobo ways. Standing at the door, I slowly opened it and stepped into the so-called halls of higher learning. I didn't dare look back at Boy.

I hope the dog went on with his traveling ways... being the tramp, but not a bum, he was. There's a big difference in a tramp and bum. Tramps travel and find ingenious ways to make it through life while bums are static and expect people to come to them with aid. Boy was a tramp, a happy tramp that smiled at strangers.

I hope he found a stranger somewhere on his travels that could give him a home or at least a long term friendship.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Looking Forward And Remembering When

As the season of Rainbows starts to wind down at the river Blue, thoughts turn to fishing for warm water species lending me to think about pursuing pan fish, going on a crusade to capture carp, and looking forward to battling bass.

With the pursuit of these warm water species, strategies do tend to change. Compared to fly-fishing for trout, patterns selected become quite different, sizes are most certainly different, leaders are shorter for the most part and technique takes on a whole new light.

All three warm-water species mentioned make the river Blue their home, and of course without any doubt whatsoever Blue is my favorite current on the Prairie Ocean. However, with the spring and summer months come vacation times and the price of fuel always seems to skyrocket so I am inclined, and unfortunately required, to seek closer waters that offer the same fishing avenues.

Just west of the river Blue is a current on the Prairie Ocean known as Rock Creek and my life with this particular seaway of the southern plains is not only long… but also deeply etched in my memory.

As the weather continues to warm in the next thirty days or so, it will be a common sight to see me spending the lunch hour on Rock Creek. With the water being only a block or so from the workplace I can be on the water with fly in the lane in less than ten minutes. When dawn starts to show itself around the sixth hour of the morning, I’ll be right there… casting from the sandbars or shoals hoping for that hungry morning bass to slam the Miss Prissy or generic popper that I offer.

Sometimes these days it’s hard for me to imagine that I’ve spent forty plus years on Rock Creek. If I had a home away from home as a child… I guess it would have been Rock Creek. No… for sure it was Rock Creek for no other place would I spend as much time. Back then the creek, for me, was like stepping into an enchanted forest much like a character from a fairy tale would do. It was the simple wonderment of nature that drew me; beckoned me, teased me with endless curiosity.

Even through the secondary years of basic education I would find myself on the banks of Rock Creek during the lunch hour. Back then a cafeteria lunch cost less than fifty cents a day but a bologna and cheese sandwich was even cheaper so I packed my lunch. Growing up with retired grandparents we didn’t have a lot of money and there always seem to be too much month at the end of the money so we took care in how we lived. I loved those bologna and cheese sandwiches plus I was never much for standing in line like kids had to do in the cafeteria. Besides that, the cafeteria always seem to be a place for the older kids (upper classmates) to give the younger students grief and I never was much for taking grief either… so I chose the creek bank to the cafeteria.

I kept a pole and string hidden on the creek and used it to catch crawdads. A common practice of mine in the mornings before school was to borrow a slice of bacon from my grandmother’s Kelvinator. Bacon is a magical food for humans and it just so happens that crawdads like it also. I used the bacon along with the pole and string to capture crawdads, which made good fishing bait for the larger bass that cruised Rock Creek at the time.

If I wasn’t capturing crawdads then I was most likely fishing with a cane pole and bobber. No, I didn’t fly-fish back then even though my grandfather tried to introduce the art to me. He would sit a number two washtub in the front yard and have me cast to it. I wasn’t very good at all in the casting and like a lot of kids became frustrated and laid the fly rod down opting for the ease of the cane pole. In addition to my cane pole, I had a nifty 202 that my grandfather had given me as a Christmas present, but I kept it quite guarded, using it only for fishing the large stock ponds and flood controls grandfather would take me to.

Rock Creek was mostly an outdoor classroom for me and I often think I learned much more from the creek than I ever did in the stark classroom of Miss Starchdrawers. School for me was boring and pointless for the most part and I feel I learned very little in my junior high and high schools years. Not until I entered college did I find a ravenous appetite for knowledge and then it seemed I couldn’t consume enough.

Although Rock Creek was a playground and classroom for me, it was other things to other school kids. For some of them it was a place to sneak a cigarette, show off a girly magazine that had been quietly slipped from underneath their dad’s mattress, and some were as brave to show off the beer taken from the old man’s stash.

And unfortunately, Rock Creek became a testing ground to show toughness and settle disputes. Quite often two guys that had been friends when the school bell rang early in the morning somehow would decide, by the lunch hour, they didn’t want to be friends anymore and they would bring their brand new dislike for one another to the banks of Rock Creek.

With fights come the spectators, ah yes… those willing to hold the coats of the combatants. Of course the spectators were usually even divided with half rooting for their champion and the other doing the same. I generally stayed clear of the ruckus not taking sides because truly I liked and got along with the majority of kids I attended school with. I wasn’t about to root for one over another.

The pugilists would square off at each other with clenched hands held high in both defense and offense. As they circled one another... both were hoping for that punch to the nose that would most certainly put a quick end to the fight and sure enough… most of the time… that punch would come. As the blood would spew through the air, the loud clamor… that bawl of the spectators, would suddenly screech to a hush. As the quietness of the moment took front row, one combatant would take a knee in capitulation while the other, with hands still held high, would stand in victory… suddenly realizing that nothing had actually been won.

Slowly the crowd would dissipate; students going back to the school system proper; taking their places in the classroom where they would blend with the blandness of the classroom walls.

Once the spectators left I would usually stay behind to explore my wonderland a bit more before returning to the place I was required to be.

Rock Creek held many adventures for me as a kid and one of my favorites was a day I met a dog on the way to the creek.

Next time I’ll share with you the story of a dog named Boy.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Breaking Bread And Overcoming Obstacles

Toward the end of trout season each year, the Wildlife Department has an annual get-together and meeting along with a most delightful fish fry. For the last two years the Blue River Fly Fishers have been invited and this year's attendees were Michael Mercurio of Arlington, Texas along with Charlie Wright and yours truly from Sulphur, Oklahoma.

Both Michael and Charlie have been big time fans and supporters of Blue River as a whole and both have taken a special interest in the catch & release area. Michael is also heavily involved with the San Juan river establishing a foundation to benefit that wonderful waterway and Charlie operates a bed and breakfast inn, Sulphur Springs Inn, that just happens to cater to the fly angler. Visit Sulphur Springs Inn at

The three of us met at department headquarters on Blue where we enjoyed the food and fellowship. Of course area manager Matt Gambel was on hand and it's always a joy talking to Matt and Matt Mauch was also on hand and it is likewise always good to visit with him. Retired wildlife department employee Paul Mauch also attended and for those who don't know, Paul was our contact person in establishing the catch and release area.

So, we broke bread with the wildlife department and still had plenty of afternoon in front of us. Merc had already made plans to stay at Charlie's inn and fish the next day... but what were we to do the rest of the afternoon. Merc suggested we think about fishing even though we knew the river was dingy to muddy and the wind was gusting to forty miles per hour. I was good to go but Charlie had to beg out because he had guests coming to the inn this afternoon. When we were trying to decide where to fish I told Merc to pick the spot and I'd follow. He said, "South wilderness", and those are words that for me are synonymous with abracadabra...magical words if you will. So off we were.

On the hike in Merc kept saying the fish would eat, the fish would eat, and each time he'd say it our confidence would grow. But each time we got a glimpse of the beef broth that the river was... my confidence diminished.

We started out at Coyote Pass and I armed myself with a brown bugger deciding to drift it through some runs. Merc took position on a point fishing both sides. A half hour into it I hadn't felt a single bump so I moved upstream to some faster water. Here I would take four bows but they were all on the small side - certainly members of the Arkansas tribe. Merc had taken a fish at the point but now moved upstream to fish the far side from me. Still the fishing was really spotty so we decided to move upstream to the Cove, however that would require back-tracking or forging ahead. Merc forged ahead and it was some rough going.

At the Cove we took the water above the falls and the water here was still more of the beef broth that was common to the wider areas of the river. I kept with the bugger drifting, but soon decided to simply cast upstream and strip. Stripping the bugger seemed to be the ticket here and I took two nice fat bows on the brown bugger. When fishing this particular spot it's easy to hang up a lot on the ledge before the falls. I got lucky Saturday and avoided hanging up here, but Merc was standing in the wrong spot evidently and lost a lot of flies. The visibility of the river was at best six inches and this was one of the obstacles we were having to overcome.

From the Cove we headed straight for the last stocking point in the south wilderness - Dividing Line Falls. Dividing Line Falls was at full force and we stepped into the soup once again wading out on the sandbar. Merc took one side and I the other. Merc pulled a trout up with his first cast while I kept trying to find bows with a down and across cast and swing. There was nothing for me so I tied on a crawdad pattern, turned around and fished the other side taking one small bow. Meanwhile Merc had spotted some water that seems to hold special appeal to him.

In my mind, Merc likes intimate complex water. It's the complexity of the water that seems to hold a special allure for Michael. He seems to thrive on analyzing and dissecting the intricacies of a particular pool; exploring each seam; fishing each current including the micro currents; maneuvering his fly through the eddies and such. Without a doubt Merc is probably the best nymph angler I've seen and his mending is magical. I stood on the sandbar for sometime watching him working that intimate pool plucking bows. The wind was beating me down so I wade out and take position on a log on the bank and continue to watch Merc pick a bow every now and then including one nice fat bow. It was an artistic thing to watch.

The wind kept bearing down on me so getting Merc's attention I signal I was going downstream. About a mile downstream I find a falls with a significant scum line and decide to fish the scum. Here I would take the prettiest fish of the day. She was about fourteen inches but the beauty of this fish was in the color and pattern. She was an opaque forest green color and from gill to tail there was the most beautiful pattern of black dots. Simply a beautiful fish.

By now, I knew it was getting later in the afternoon and Merc had caught up with me so we start to hike out. Thinking it was around four o'clock or so, I asked Merc for the time and it was almost six. Oh crap, where does the time go and what will Miss Carol be thinking. Back at the schooner and upon checking the phone sure enough there was a voice mail from Miss Carol that simply said, "I'm getting worried". It was time to go to the bunkhouse but before that could be done Merc and I had to drink a beer together - it goes with the outing you know. He presented me with a beer I'd never seen before and being quite particular about the beer I drink I had my doubts. Think it was called Minnesota Beer or Brew and I have to tell you it's some dang good beer. Michael told me it's cheap and the only thing better than cheap beer... is cold cheap beer. He's right!

Merc and I came to the river today knowing we'd be facing obstacles with a muddy river and high wind but somehow we overcame those obstacles and battled bows. I guess between the two of us we brought somewhere from fifteen to twenty bows to capitulation. Our only regret was that Charlie didn't get to come but as that is... it gives us another reason to plan a future trip when Charlie can make it.


When our fishing outing ended Friday, Merc and I laid plans to fish the catch & release the next morning. It would be my first trip to the C&R this season and I wanted to go so Merc could show me the upper section and few know that section like he does.

Of course the C&R was opened for harvest on March 1st and I'd been hearing of reports of groups of anglers taking large numbers of fish from the area. I knew this going in but still wanted to go.

A pleasant surprise was that while staying at Charlie's inn, Merc met another guest that just happens to be a fly fisher named David from Oklahoma City and David had packed his gear so naturally he was going a-fishing with us.

Little did I know that the first thing that would happen in the upper section was my cell phone taking the plunge. I accidentally drug the bag it was in into the river not knowing the bag strap was caught on my boot. Cell phone dead.

We hit the upper section about ten o'clock and fished the dickens out of it but it was pretty much sterile. The harvesters wasted no time this season in really thinning the bows. I started working downstream and Merc was soon to follow. We ended up in the middle section and went to the far east falls and here Merc would find some bows. Meanwhile, I was still searching for my first bow and finally found it casting upstream and drifting. It would be my only bow of the day.

There is some really pretty water in the C&R and it's kind of sad that so many bows had already been harvested. As a matter of fact there is some talk going around about a later harvest date. One argument against having a later harvest date is out of the fear the fish will not be harvested and simply perish as water temperatures warm. But, I would argue getting these fish harvested will not be that big of a problem... plenty will come and take part in the feast.

Saturday I started feeling the effects of the hike on Friday and the hike into the C&R this particular morning so I decide to leave the area about an hour before Merc and David. Merc had found six bows by now so he and I shook hands and thanked each other for the experience. It indeed was a good experience.


Around my house it's quite common for Miss Carol to look at me and say, "Slow down turbo." I do tend to move rather quickly - type A personality, high metabolism... I don't now. And I guess for a short legged person I tend to walk fast also.

On the trail out of the C&R Saturday the weather was warming up quickly and I was layered quite heavily. It didn't take long to break a sweat and I was anxious to get to the parking lot and turn the air-conditioner on in the Prairie Schooner.

When the parking lot came in sight I guess those turbo-chargers of mine kicked in and I started walking faster. For anyone that's been to this particular parking area (the corrals) you know very well there's that spot in the fence you have to duck under.

You know, I was pretty sure I ducked.

I was at full throttle, head down, but evidently didn't duck low enough. It wasn't my forehead that hit that three inch pipe but the front top of my head... it was indeed sudden impact. The most disturbing part of the whole micro fraction of a second incident was the cracking noise I heard in my neck. I hit the ground stunned and not worried at all about my head and having brain damage or something... I mean with me that would be an afterthought... you know too late in my case. But, I couldn't get over that cracking noise I heard. Endorphins rushed to the scene of the accident sparing me any immediate pain.

I was completely sprawled out on the ground and the most embarrassing part was I had a witness. A spinner fisher was rigging up and he looked at me and asked, "Was that your head you hit? You okay mister?" His question prompted me to ask myself exactly what he'd heard? Was it the thud of my head on the iron pipe, that terrible cracking noise in my neck, or perhaps that "Aww son-of-a-bitc.!!!", I said on the way down.

To save face in my Charlie Chaplain antics I told the guy I was okay... just stupid. I stayed on the ground for a short while then staggered up collecting the fly boxes that were strewn from the impact, and headed for the schooner hitting the trail to the bunkhouse.

At the bunkhouse the first order of business was a hot shower concentrated on my neck and the second order was a cold beer. Then came the ice pack and me strategically planting my butt on the couch next to Miss Carol where I would commence to milk her for every ounce of sympathy I could.

However, about the only sweetness that would come forth from Miss Carol was, "You need to slow down Barry - you're not young anymore." I thought, "Oh, well thank you so much Miss Carol for your keen observation." She's right, I know it.

So, the end result of my Saturday day would be a fried cell phone, one lonely trout, a cracked neck, and here I was about to loose an hour of sleep because of the friggin' time change.

Maybe it is time I loose my turbo-charged ways, slowing down, and taking time to really smell the roses.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

New Fishing Friends

Saturday, Dean and David Barrett rode up from Wichita Falls to fly-fish the river Blue. Dean picked up the fly rod about a year ago and had made two previous trips to Blue looking for his first Blue River trout on a fly rod. David would also be looking for his first Blue River bow on a fly rod and this modern day Marco Polo would indeed find that first bow. In addition, Dean would find his first ever Blue trout with a fly ten or eleven more.

We got started about 9:30 Saturday and I don't know how we could have asked for a better day. The temperature was in the high 50's with a slightly overcast sky. The river had been fished really hard this past week with the pretty weather and all, so we decided to visit the south wilderness in hopes of finding fewer anglers. Wishful thinking that would prove to be and it didn't take us long to realize a lot of other anglers were out and about.

Our first stop was Coyote Pass and it would be here that Dean would capture his first ever Blue bow on an olive yellow bugger. It didn't take long... Dean hooked the fish within the first five minutes of fishing. The fishing was spotty however so we decided to move on and look for other water.

Our biggest problem Saturday was simply finding a good spot to fish that hadn't already been claimed so we ended up moving around a lot. Buggers were fished primarily and it was at the Cove that David found his first ever Blue bow on a bugger.

We switched gears upstream and Dean tied on a Prince Nymph and found another bow using this fly. We ended up walking all the way to the end and Dean and I waded out on the sandbar and here we found lots of bows willing to do battle but hook-sets were hard to come by.

Earlier in the day I told Dean about Desperado Springs and how we'd catch it on the way back which we did, and it was here Dean would put on a show battling bows. Armed with the olive yellow bugger Dean started battling bows pretty much at will, one after another, and each battle brought a wider grin to Dean's face.

We had a wonderful outing and between the three of us we battled around thirty bows. The river is mainly clear with some off-coloring and the flow is really good which makes the fly-fisher re-examine techniques. All day long I knew our flies needed added shot but having lost my needle nose pliers adding split was going to be difficult.

We finished our day around 3:30 and although I didn't admit it to Dean or David... I was spent. Old legs tend to give out rather easily. Dean and David were staying the night and I'm sure they are on the river as I sit at this laptop.

I hope we all get to fish together again someday.

Monday, March 1, 2010

A Testy River

This past weekend I got to visit the river and it was one of those days when you question yourself whether you should have made the trip or not. In other words...I was feeling quite poorly and with the ole energy level being low I didn't bring a lot of enthusiasm to share with Blue. Shame on me.

Saturday, the river was still quite off-colored with a visibility of at best two feet. Fishing, at least for me, was off and I only captured four bows in the three hours I was there.

However, the anglers that prefer bait seem to be doing rather well even though the fishing was slow, and there are still some big bows left in the river.

Jon Bolig, (right) captured this four pound ten ounce bow in Area 2. His accomplice on the left is Kody Young whom was fishing with Jon on Saturday. It was a beautiful fish and there are a number equally as beautiful still in the river.

The river is up and the current is stronger than usual. The haze in the river is effecting some of us in our fishing but hopefully the river will clear more in the days to come.